If you want to advertise your business to the largest possible audience, the world's most visited website is an obvious place to start.
The vast majority of web searches are carried out on Google, and the good news is you don't even have to pay Google to get your business seen in their search results. If you're looking to start advertising on Google, Google Ads can be a great way to capture more traffic, but there are also ways to advertise on Google without spending a penny. In this blog post, we'll look at the paid AND organic methods to start advertising on Google - you'll need to know about both if you want to maximise your website's SERP visibility.
Here's our tips on how to start advertising on Google:
- Appear in the organic results
- Appear in the local map results
- Create Google Ads
- Make the most of Google Shopping
- Start ranking for image and video searches
What does SERP mean?
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. This is the page that a search engine like Google displays when you perform a search.
Most searches return several pages of results, but you ideally want your business to appear on the first page shown. Think about it - how often do you bother to look at the second page of Google results? Probably not all that often; approximately 90% of consumer traffic goes to websites that rank on the first page of Google.
On the SERP, you'll see a variety of different search results - including organic search results, paid ads, and possibly some other features depending on what you searched for.
1. How to appear in the organic results
An organic ranking is when your website ranks highly on the SERP without any paid advertising - this can be done through simple, yet consistent, optimisation of your website and its contents.
Carry out keyword research and optimise accordingly
It's important to carry out keyword research for your website to determine the terms and phrases that your target audience use when looking for your products or services. When you optimise your copy to include these keywords and search terms, you are more likely to appear near the top of the SERP for that particular search query. This could mean more clicks, and potentially more conversions!
Publish unique, relevant and insightful content
Unique content is the best way to provide value to your target audience - by filling your website with unique content that directly answers their queries, your business will appear authentic and trustworthy.
This is especially important to Google, which aims to provide the best experience to searchers at all times. Google prioritises relevant and unique content in the SERP, meaning that your content could rank highly.
2. How to appear in local map results
Create and optimise your Google My Business listing
Google My Business is an excellent online resource that allows businesses to promote their online presence across Google. This results in higher visibility, especially for local search terms like 'bookshops in coventry'.
- It's free. Anybody can register their company - you can do it here!
- It adds your business to Google Maps. This means that your business will be easily accessible to potential customers as they don't have to know or find out your website address first.
- It will give you a shot at appearing in the 'map pack'. This unique feature means that your business can rank in the best position without having to compete for one of the top 10 standard spots on the SERP. The map pack consists of 2 to 3 nearby businesses that match the user's query. Businesses within the map pack hold the number 1 position in 93% of all searches, meaning that appearing here can position your business as one of the most relevant and credible options to potential customers.
You can optimise your Google My Business listing by making sure all the relevant and important information is filled out and by verifying your location(s) to improve credibility.
3. How to get your Google Ads shown
There's nothing more annoying than being greeted with an ad that has no relevance to what you were searching for. This is why ad relevance is so important if you're using paid ads to advertise on Google.
Review your ad copy and imagery, and evaluate whether it serves its purpose well
Is your ad directly related to your target keyword? If you think this could be improved, optimise your ad's copy, appearance and landing page to ensure that it has a clear objective and structure.
Google Ads are among the very best tools for online lead generation, so it's essential that you make the conversion process as accessible as possible for your potential customers.
4. How to make the most of Google Shopping
If your business has an ecommerce website then Google Shopping is an excellent paid way to start advertising on Google.
Focus on the appearance of your listing
People like to know what they're shopping for, and they especially want to know what your products look like! Make sure to include a high-quality image that accurately depicts your product. Ensure that your product listing includes all relevant information, including target keywords that concisely describe what you are offering. Long-tail keywords actually have a better conversion rate than short-tail keywords due to their specificity!
Collect Google seller ratings for higher priority in the SERP
Google seller ratings represent the quality of your online review presence. You can add Google seller ratings as a Google Ad extension, which will add a snapshot of your ratings below your products. These ratings will make a positive impression on potential customers, which will inevitably build their trust towards your business.
Not only that, but this is also a crucial point in the buyer's journey - and a good product review could be the difference between a sale or not!
5. How to rank among Google's image and video results
Google often displays a selection of images and/or videos in the SERP, so these can be a great source of organic traffic for your website.
Give your files an SEO-friendly name
This allows search crawlers to scan your webpages for essential information. If your photo or video is named 'file1', this provides no context to what the image is - for Google, or for a human being.
In order to choose the best image results, Google collects data from the file name to understand its meaning and context within your website, and why it's being used - so it's always best to describe it concisely and accurately.
Add alt text to your images
Alt text describes the meaning that an image is supposed to convey when it is unable to be shown. This is especially important for visually-impaired users.
Keyword-stuffing your alt tags provides little benefit to the search engine or a visually impaired user. Instead, make sure that you have descriptive alt text so that Google can understand and index your images properly, meaning they'll be more likely to appear in the SERP!
READ MORE: How to Use Alt Tags for SEO
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